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Jill Kinmont Boothe dies; ski champ was left paralyzed at 18

February 10, 2012 |  9:53 am

JillJill Kinmont Boothe, the former ski champion and Olympic hopeful who was left paralyzed after a skiing accident in Utah in 1955 and whose inspirational life story was the subject of two Hollywood films, died Thursday in a Carson City hospital. She was 75.

Ruth Rhines, senior deputy coroner of Carson City, confirmed that Boothe died Thursday at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. A cause of death has not been reported and Rhines could not confirm reports that Boothe died of complications related to surgery.

A Los Angeles native, Kinmont Boothe was the U.S. women’s slalom champion in January 1955 when she crashed during a race at Alta, Utah, and suffered a broken neck and severe spinal cord damage.

The accident, which left her a quadriplegic at age 18, occurred three days before an issue of Sports Illustrated featuring her on the cover hit newsstands.

Boothe went on to overcome the life-changing tragedy by earning a teaching credential at the University of Washington and having a successful career as a teacher.

Her story was told in the 1975 film “The Other Side of the Mountain” and the 1978 sequel “The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2.”

An elementary school in Bishop, where she lived with her husband John, bears her name.

A complete obituary will follow in the obituaries section of latimes.com. 

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-- Dennis McLellan

Photo: Jill Kinmont, who was paralyzed in a ski accident a year before the 1956 Winter Games, passes through a gate at Mammath Mt. when she was 18 years old. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times.

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